The progressive mind is easy to laugh at and make fun of on a daily basis, but our charge must be to know our opponents more deeply than that if we actually want to defeat them.
What does it truly tell us when ABC cancels a right-leaning sitcom starring Tim Allen that had better ratings than several of the shows it chose to renew? And remember, your answer should take into account that ABC is owned by Disney, and we just saw what gobs of progressive politics have done to the health of what used to be an iconic sports channel.
It would seem that the bottom line for the Disney family tree isn’t always the bottom line.
While it may be obvious to say that propaganda is its first goal, that doesn’t really make the point starkly enough. There are plenty of business enterprises, or at least there used to be, that engaged in propaganda as long as they could financially get away with it. But once the proper pressure or blowback was applied, it served as a de facto cease-and-desist order.
Now, though, no such concern seems to exist. Entities like Disney, Target, and public institutions of learning like the University of Missouri seem unmoved or even self-righteous about the financial hit they are often taking. Their SJW street-cred appears to come first with them.
When you begin to see significant swaths of mankind largely forgo a self-preservation instinct like profit in favor of faux utopian wishcasting, you know why I call progressivism the heresy of the age. It is its own cult, for a hallmark of any cult is the forgoing of individual interests to serve the groupthink. And groupthink isn’t a noble cause worth self-sacrificing for, but rather an ignominious one that seeks to diminish and destroy the inherent value of the individual as an image-bearer of God.
Cults, which are counterfeits of true religion, can’t be reasoned with. Just like a true religion, they see opposition as a sign that they’re onto something. The devil doesn’t give up his strongholds without a fight. But when it comes to a cult, that isn’t opposition they’re seeing, but an intervention. That is people who care about you enough to try to stop you from sprinting towards Gomorrah, heading down the highway to hell, or stepping into the Twilight Zone.
While greed may not be good, as Gordon Gecko once said, the desire to make an honest dollar is as firm an assessment of cultural sanity as there is. It is a sign of belief in self-sufficiency, as one created with certain unique talents, skills, and gifts that the Creator wants you to maximize to their fullest potential. It is a reliance on the productivity of your fellow man instead of on his blind obedience, and as such all boats can indeed rise with the tide. The Keynesian zero-sum game is mistaken.
But progressivism is nothing if not zero-sum. The nanny state doesn’t like competition. It prefers slaves. And its total commitment would be admirable, if you ignore the fact that all the things you truly care about will be destroyed by it.
This is why one of my fundamental recommendations to President Trump, both before he took office and earlier this week, as I begged him to reboot his presidency, was to focus on tax reform and on actually repealing Obamacare.
The smart play, in a culture this morally dysfunctional, is to turn the momentum of the fiscal apathy associated with that dysfunction against it. You may not make much sense about God or marriage to the lost and forsaken in our current cultural matrix, for example, if you don’t seem to have any answers that put more money in people’s wallets. But if we can create a climate of prosperity, where the difference between Disney’s financial death wish and free markets would make Milton Friedman blush, maybe then we will stand a chance of turning America’s attention to matters of more ultimate and existential import.
True, this is a bit like getting Al Capone on tax evasion instead of on murder, but beggars can’t be choosers. Conservatives need a major win, and fast. Trump and this Congress are doing nothing with their 2016 wins. And if they can’t even get behind the good old-fashioned money train to make that happen, then the cult of SJW cred (not the “swamp”) is in fact king.
There’s hope, though. Even the Pilgrims didn’t get this right when they first came to America. With all their piety, their first attempts at living were socialist in nature and quickly crashed and burned — as the lazy sought to leach off the hard-working. That was their “first 100 days,” if you will. Thankfully, though, they had the leadership to critically look at why they failed and correct themselves, rather than whining and blaming elements they couldn’t control.
And now we come to the real rub, don’t we? Are there modern-day John Winthrops and William Bradfords willing to lead us through a necessary course correction in the White House and halls of Congress?
See, one of the reasons the spirit of the progressive age seems so daunting is it that has no real opposition. With a few noteworthy exceptions, we are an army without generals. Men without chests. Conviction without courage, and courage without conviction.
Until that changes, Tim Allen is not only a sitcom star, but also an unintentional prophet. Little did he know how prophetic the title of his just-cancelled show would turn out to be.